The Oneota Coop will celebrate the completion of an extensive remodeling project with a grand reopening celebration this week.
The Oneota Coop will celebrate the completion of an extensive remodeling project with a grand reopening celebration this week.
After two years of planning and preparation, the Oneota Community Food Co-op began a construction project in February to completely remodel the inside of its current store location at 312 W. Water St. in downtown Decorah.
This is the first major remodel of the space since the Co-op moved to its current location in January 2008. A grand reopening sale and celebration will be happening at the store Thursday, June 13 through Saturday, June 15.
The $626,500 remodel includes new refrigeration equipment, fixtures, finishes, more efficient design elements and a whole new refrigeration system.
“We invested heavily in a new refrigeration system and store lighting. Despite increasing our cooler capacity and lighting throughout the store, our electrical usage has decreased by roughly 30 percent over the same period last year,” Co-op General Manager David Lester said.
The Co-op utilized a member loan campaign to finance the remodel through loans from Co-op member/owners. In total, 78 member/owners loaned the Co-op $626,500 -- funding the entire remodel in just four weeks.
“We are on track to pay these loans back over the course of the next six years,” Lester said.
The previous member loan campaign in 2007 for roughly $350,000 helped finance the move of the Co-op to its current location.
“Funding this project 100 percent through our membership is a true testimony to the commitment and passion our members have for our store and investing in its future,” Lester aded.
“The store now features an open front half of the retail space, allowing increased visibility of the Deli upon entry and better visibility for street traffic alongside the building,” Co-op Marketing Manager Nate Furler said. “An updated color palate, sharp finishes and increased lighting bring the inside of the store to life.”
New produce fixtures, an expanded fresh meat case and a 17-foot-long hot bar/salad bar island in the deli are some of the highlights of the new store footprint.
“Expanding the fresh departments (deli, produce and meat/fish) will further the Co-op’s mission by carrying even more of the best local and organic products within our region,” Lester said.
The grand reopening beginning Thursday will get started with a ribbon cutting ceremony with the Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce and end on Saturday afternoon with live, local musicians in the store featuring Footnotes and Erik Session and John Goodin. During these three days the store will be filled with deals, free samples and giveaways.

Since 1974
Located in downtown Decorah, Oneota Community Food Co-op is a cooperatively-owned grocery store specializing in local, organic, and sustainably produced products since 1974.
For more than four decades, the Co-op has been the leading provider of whole foods at a reasonable cost, with an emphasis on organic, local and bulk foods. Roughly 45 cents of every dollar spent at the Co-op stays within 100 miles of the store. Visit oneotacoop.com for more information.